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Readers Respond: Living With Herpes

Responses: 905


Updated November 26, 2011

From the article: Living With Herpes
What is it like living with herpes? It's different for everyone. Some people have symptoms that drive them crazy, while others only know they're infected because of a positive test. What has living with herpes has been like for you? How has it affected your dating life? Your relationship with doctors? Has it changed your image of yourself, or is everything still basically the same as it was before? You'd be surprised at how many people you know are living with herpes and how little it may be changing their lives.

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young love...

I started dating this guy when I was 15, I got tested multiple times while I was with him (2 years) and I was always clean until almost a year of being together, I had an outbreak & I tested positive for herpes. I broke down in tears, I honestly felt my life was over. I was 16. My doctor said you have your first outbreak a month after contracting the virus. I knew I had only slept w/ one person but he claims he didn't know he had it. My doctor said he was a carrier. I'm 18 now & there's days I feel really sad & alone like today, especially because I've met someone I really like, & I feel like I'm going to have to let him go because I can't see anyone wanting to deal with this. I'm afraid he'll think I'm dirty, or something. I didn't have multiple sex partners, I had 1 partner, who I loved very much & was committed to. How do you explain this to someone is the part I'm struggling w/ now. I don't let this define me, i take it as a long life lesson that ill learn to cope with. Stay strong
—Guest B

Life goes on

I have met the man of dream. I've waited and I never gave myself to anyone. I never went on a date until I met him. I met him at the beginning of my college career. I slept with him and before I ever lied down with him I knew someday he will be my husband. A few months later I went to the doctor and found out I had herpes. I asked how do you get herpes. I said," I can't have it." After so many years of waiting And saying no, I have something that's not curable. But I am now happily married and with the man who gave it to me. I don't regret it. He was worth it. I'm sure someone will say you're worth it as well, at first I felt like I will never be the same.Hell, I forget I have it sometimes. I'm still sticking with the morals I've always had. It is a secret kept from a lot people. People tend to judge until they end up with it. Its actually an eye opener.
—Guest life


It's the stigma that makes it miserable. My son has it. He caught it from one of the kids at his preschool when he was 4. He suffers often from cold sores, has had to be hospitalized twice with rashes that became infected outbreaks on his hand from sucking his thumb, and somehow on his leg from irritating what initially appeared to be a bug bite. Most recently he has been having stints of Bells Palsy which his pediatrician feels is associated. Horrible effects aside, it's the judgements people make that are the worst part.
—Guest Private

sharing my story

I met this dude off of a dating service and we had protected sex but he kissed me and after that a couple days later i felt tingling around my mouth and it felt like it was swelling and i feel little bumps on the inside of my mouth.
—Guest shay

Naive to STD'S

I am currently in my 30's and just realized that there are so many STD'S you can get without bodily fluids being transferred. I didn't know this. I had to find out the hard way. For the last two years I have been actively tested for all STD'S so I thought but didn't know that I wasn't being tested for HSV. One day I was reading on HSV because I had a blister on my bottom. It felt like a boil but when reading I thought it might be something else. I tried to calm myself down by saying I have been tested. I fine. After calling my doctors office I was surprised to hear that I had never been tested for HSV. The doctor swabbed me and said it looked like HSV. I also asked them to test my blood. Thank goodness I did. What my doctor thought looked like HSV actually was not. However, through the blood test I learned that I have HSV1&2. I am so confused. I have no idea what this means. Everytime I think about it I cry. What will the rest of my life be like? I am currently single. I feel so sad
—Guest Mary

One Week

I found out that I had this a week ago.. I feel devastated, but also I am okay. My doctor said that I contracted it within the last six months. Which ironically is the time when I left the guy who was treating me like shit for another guy. I cared about them both, very much so I didnt use protection. I have had my fair share of one night stands but I have always been safe. I should have known it would be the ones I cared about that would hurt me. However, I am seeing a guy now and I dont know how to tell him.. we havent had sex yet. Still, do I tell him before the first time even if we are safe? For some reason not telling him would make me feel like I was lying, and I dont trust him enought to tell him. I feel so scared and alone

What now?

I was diagnosed with HSV 1 just 8 months ago after going to a party with my "friend" and having a little too much to drink. I blacked out and was not only taken advantage of but also had my verginity took from me as well. My parents left for vacation the next day. I started to freak out. How could i tell my parents i was raped? Little did i know at the time that that was the least of my worries. I started to have pain peeing and itchyness. I saw my dr who prescribed me for a yeast infection. The issue grew worse. After two days i became bloated and couldnt pee at all. I went to the er where they told me i had a server uti. I started cipro, the next day i couldnt walk without pain and was serverly blistered. I once again went to my dr and told her everything. I was not only diagnosed with HSV but with PID as well. I called and told my parents and they rushed home. Theve been there for me ever since. But where to go from here?
—Guest Learning to live

This is not the end!

I am twenty three years old and I found out about my diagnosis five months ago. I was not sexually active when I went in to get tested, and I only did it because I found out that the guy I was with had multiple partners while we were together. When I found out I had it a flood of emotions came over me and I thought that no one would want to be with me. I was wrong there are people that will view you as worth the risk. I have had this for over a year now eight months of not knowing and five months of knowing. This is not the easiest thing to live with, emotionally it can take a toll at times, but it is livable. I just want to give someone hope in knowing that they are not alone and they're not "dirty, nasty, unclean, unworthy of love," or anyother negative comment that had been thrown your way, or you have thought about yourself. If anything having this has made me more cautious and aware of my choices and body. Also, do not give up on trusting people there are good people in the world
—Guest Never Give Up

I have herpes

I am 18 and I was diagnosed with herpes. It started off as HPV but turned into herpes after my first outbreak with the warts. I've slept with other people and so has my partner. Both of us did not practice safe sex. Now I have it. And so does he, but he has no symptoms yet. I felt like crying when my doctor told me. But the reassurance from my partner by telling me that regardless of this I'm still the best thing in the world and nothing, not even a life long STD can change that. I'm feeling better about myself and am trying to look at the positives of this. Instead of crying over the fact that I have this disease and I don't know who to blame.
—Guest Guest upset

The "Crazy" Girl

It all started that last summer, I started getting excessively sick and no doctor could pin point the source but the initial current sickness occurring. It will soon be approaching a year now since I have been always ill. Few weeks ago I noticed a sore, went to planned parenthood and within five days it had seemed to go away. Results from it came back negative. Many gyns kept telling me I had vulvodynia. But just this week I got sick with a high fever for four days and then two large lumps have appeared in two different areas. I know its herpes I have been experiencing constant infections and sickness and it all correlates to my genitals. How have no doctors pieced this together?
—Guest The uneducated girl

like a rocks been lifted off my chest

like a rocks been lifted off my chestearz now...ive now been engaged seven months gettin married august.....today i came clean with my fiance I was so scared of letting him know that I held it from him being so afraid he would leave me.he took it pretty well and told me that he still loves me and will be with me no matter what . he was very understanding.he's a younger guy 10 years younger than me most men would have went and left.I love them so much he treats me like a queen and was still getting married in august.I just want to say you could still be happy living with this virus.
—Guest diamond

Feeling hopeless

I was diagnosed with genital herpes almost 2 years ago. I have never had an outbreak since, and I've come to terms with it. However, I'm single and the last year has been really tough. I've had 3 men that I was dating, and it got to the point where we I felt it was time to disclose. All three of them said it was a deal breaker. I feel so sad. I did not ask for this virus, and I'm tired of people looking at me as a disease instead of a human being. At least I know I have it. The next girl they have sex with could be one of the 80% of people that unknowningly has it. I wish people would educate themselves. I wonder how many men have asked a girl about her cold sore history before she gave him a BJ. My frustration is at an all time high. Someone please tell me it gets better.
—Guest Bummed

Shy One:Luv Me Again

I went out with the sweetest guy in the world, at first we used condoms,but I was selfish and took him without a condom, I had been sick and I did not know that I had herpes, especially since my immunity was compromised by the illness and I got herpes and he also got herpes he is a super clean person, so of course he hates me, he will not talk or text or to meet with me...he knows how sorry I am that this happened ,but he will not forgive me, he will maybe in the future but not rite now.It's like i finally found him,then i messed it up... even thou if he had herpes i wud luv him anyway...I just want him to love me again....
—Guest mari

Calm down and don't scare yourself 3

Herpes does not ruin your life, the only thing that can do that is what other people think about the condition. When it comes to what other people think they know about the condition it is important to remember that they are wrong. They will have drawn their information from scaremongering media and websites like this which publish the stories of those who are terrified because they have just contracted a so called lifelong 'disease' or by people whose lives have been so 'damaged' by herpes that they have to seek the help of an internet forum. In the vast majority of cases, for the 20% of young people living with herpes, this is not the case. Most people will never know they have it, I know it's not fair that you have symptoms when someone else does not. It's for this reason that if you can't tell someone I would advise you not to beat yourself up about it, I mean would you actually tell someone 'I got cold sores 6 years ago, are you sure you want to have sex with me?' probably not.
—Guest Jenny

Calm down and don't scare yourself 2

Furthermore it is worth noting that the herpes simplex virus can lie dormant, this means that you can be in a stable, committed relationship for years and then the condition will present itself. This DOES NOT mean that you or your partner have cheated so pointing the finger is completely unnecessary. The initial infection was a little unpleasant, rather like suffering a bad cold with a UTI and ulcers, however the symptoms soon pass and provided you keep yourself healthy they often don't return. The more unpleasant aspect of the condition is peoples attitude towards it, I have told two potential sexual partners about it in a mature and informative manner only to find them horrified about it. I know that I am an intelligent, good-looking and compassionate person and have realised that their cowardice in failing to accept the condition is their problem not mine. The rejection has knocked me though and I have since been unable to tell sexual partners about it.
—Guest Jenny

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Living With Herpes

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  4. Viral Diseases
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  6. Living with Herpes - User Stories

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